From Publishing Perspectives: Chocolate Might Save Barnes and Nobles

Attention Borders Books: if you had only permeated the delicious aroma of chocolate throughout your store, combined with the undeniable smell of new books, you might still be in business. Too soon? A study conducted by a group of Belgian researchers found “that the ever-so-alluring aroma of chocolate not only inspires bookstore shoppers to stay in the store longer, it also boosts sales of certain genres of books.”

The “enticing smell” was sent through the store at two locations, not strong enough so it was noticeable right away, but when pointed out, customers recognized it as the scent of chocolate. Sales for a specific category of books also rose 40% when the smell of chocolate was present, and customers “were less likely to search for one specific book and take it directly to the register to immediately check out.”

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Source: Publishing Perspectives

From My Modern Met: Little House on the Dramatic Landscape

My Modern Met recently featured Italian artist Manuel Cosentino’s new series of paintings: a little house set against giant, dramatic landscapes. In the series, Cosentino paints the same house atop the same hill, but almost the entire painting is taken up by the sky and backdrop behind it.

The large prints, currently exhibited at Klompching Gallery in Brooklyn, New York are paired with a book filled with prints of the house set against a white sky.” Cosentino invites viewers to create their own imagery against the little house. He says, “The project intends to start a conversation with the public; its nature is purposefully left mutable, open to chance and to change.”

Do We Actually Learn from Videos?

A new study led by a professor from Iowa State University shows that difference between watching fluent and “disfluent” videos might not make a difference on whether viewers learn more or less.

Most of us enjoy watching TED talks and the speakers on the TED videos are nothing if not engaging, expressive, and fluent. The study presented two groups with videos – one fluent and one disfluent – and asked each to predict how much they would remember after watching them. The group with the fluent video predicted they would remember more based on the engaging speaker (“the instructor stood upright, maintained eye contact, and spoke fluidly without notes”). The result found that both groups remembered about the same amount regardless of the speaker.

One author begged to differ on this result and explained why we do learn and remember things from watching videos. One is that it gratifies “our preference for visual learning.” How many times have you found yourself more engaged in a PowerPoint presentation when it has been heavy on the visual side versus the text side? They also allow the viewer to choose what they want to watch, or “enable self-directed, ‘just-in-time’ learning,” giving them the choice of videos they watch to what interests them most for their educational needs.

Aside from spiraling into a black hole of YouTube videos, I enjoy watching TED talks and find that I do learn things from them that I never thought would interest me. Check them out for yourself sometime and see if you learn a little more than you thought.

Source: MindShift